Independent Music Vs Mainstream Pop

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Independent Music Versus Mainstream Pop Music is an art form through which emotion, culture, ideas, and much more can be expressed. There are a wide range of genres of music, from jazz to gangster rap to rock, but each type is used, by the artist, to express feelings and thoughts through music. In addition to genres, music can be classified as popular music, which is regularly played on the radio and music television stations, and independent, also known as "underground," music. For every genre of music, there are mainstream "pop" artists, and artists that are independent. Generally aside from musical influence and similarities in their actual sound, these artists do not associate with each other and are critical of one another. The major difference between the two types is that pop music is released on major recording labels, which are headed by executive committees that the artists work for while independent music is released on record labels established and controlled by the artists themselves.

However, there are many more differences in the purposes and goals of the musicians, the content of the music that is released, the length of the artists careers, and the listeners devotion to and appreciation of the music. These differences are evident in the way the music is marketed, the profile of the average listener, the availability (or lack there of) of the music to the consumer, the price charged by the record label for the music itself, and the ideas the artists express through their music. In this essay I will compare the two types of music based on their intended purpose, differences in the actual composition of the music, and the merit of each as an actual art form.

Popular music has existed since the 1880's when the first recording of music was produced...